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Nigeria World Cup Scorers at the 1998 FIFA World Cup Hosted by France
Nigeria qualified to represent Africa in the 1998 FIFA World Cup hosted by Spain alongside fellow Africans – Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia, and South Africa. It was a tournament that saw the return of most members of the squad that took part in the 1994 World Cup. The 1998 FIFA World Cup saw some stunning goals and the Super Eagles of Nigeria were not left out in the goal feast. Below is a profile of Nigeria’s goal scorers in France 1998.
- Mutiu Adepoju
Mutiu Adepoju, popularly referred to as “the Headmaster” scored a classic opening goal with a header in the 24th minute of play in Nigeria’s first match against Spain. His equalizer canceled out Fernando Hierro’s 21st minute strike. Then he was plying his trade with the Spanish outfit – Racing Santander
- Garba Lawal
Garba Lawal forced Spanish goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta into a mistake which led to an own goal. The goal came from a pointless shot by the left wing which Zubizarreta then parried into his own net for an equal score of 2-2.
- Oliseh Sunday
Nigeria scored the best goal of the 1998 FIFA World Cup by a Nigerian attacking midfielder- Sunday Oliseh’s opening game in Nigeria against Spain. He scored through a cannon 45 meters from outside the 18 yard box to beat Spanish goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta. The goal was later replayed on major television channels during and after the World Cup. Sul Oliseh’s blistering goal secured victory for the Super Eagles of Nigeria and was the biggest upset of the tournament. The game ended 3-2 after regulation time.
- Victor Ikpeba
Nigerian striker- Victor Ikpeba scored the lone goal that sealed victory for Nigeria against Greece in the 28th minute of the first half. Ikpeba who at the time played for Monaco from France later became known as the “prince of Monaco” because of his goal scoring exploits in Monaco.
- Wilson Oruma
Wilson Oruma, who played as an attacking midfielder in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, scored a brilliant goal in the 11th minute that caused quite a scar in Nigeria’s third and final group game with Paraguay. His single goal could not prevent Paraguay from inflicting a 3-1 defeat on Nigeria.
- Tijani Babangida
The rare right winger- Tijani Babangida was on the scorers chart when Nigeria were humiliated 4-1 by Denmark in the round of 16 of the 1998 FIFA World Cup. It was a game that saw Danish striker – Ebbe Sand create history as the substitute to score’ the fastest goal in the FIFA World Cup. He scored in the 59th minute of the second half immediately after coming onto the field of play.
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